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HAPPY PRIDE MONTH FAMILY!
On June 28, 1969, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City. This riot and further protests and rioting over the following nights were the watershed moment in the modern LGBT rights movement and the impetus for organizing LGBT pride marches on a much larger public scale.
How To Start a Revolution – Every Day
The end of May was really rough on all of us in the U.S. I hope you’ve been taking good care of yourselves. One way to help face these challenges is to share stories. Stories build empathy by encouraging vulnerability in the storyteller and its recipients.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for telling stories, watch our ‘How to Find Stories to Produce‘ video. Even if you’re not a producer, there are some tips here to inspire you – especially when things feel really hard.
WHAT ARE WE UP TO?
Welcome Camille Moore to Team TruJuLo
Camille ran the Black Film Society at the University of Michigan and moved out to Los Angeles recently to pursue a career in entertainment. She’s our new Social Media Manager and we’re thrilled to have her on board. Here’s some of what you’ll find by following us on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube:
#TJLOpportunity – opportunities for filmmakers and for working in entertainment
#TJLFollows – our favorite agencies, studios, production companies and people who uplift TruJuLo’s kind of values
#TJLHowTo – knowledge about the entertainment industry, film and TV development and production
#TJLQuotes – inspiring quotes about social justice, creativity, and DEIAB
#TJLStoriestoTell – ideas to spark screenwriters and producers to broaden the representation in the film and TV stories they tell
#TJLMilestones – sharing our wins: procuring new projects to develop and produce, increasing our audience and supporters, selling film and TV projects to buyers, sharing the process of making a film or TV project, and airing TJL productions
#TJLFilmmakerFriday – a weekly journal of the film and TV projects we’re developing and producing.
Tell Your Story, Change the World
This month Fanshen’s presenting her Keynote, Tell Your Story, Change the World at the OD Network International Conference. OD (Organizational Development) is a critical and science-based process helping organizations build capacity to achieve greater effectiveness by developing, improving, and reinforcing strategies, structures, and processes.
A member of the OD Network saw One Drop of Love a few years ago and recommended Fanshen as a speaker. To get a sense of her talk, you can watch her keynote Inclusion in the Entertainment Industry at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business (hint hint: truth, justice & love are big themes).
We’re advisors for the 3rd annual Hollywood Climate Summit taking place June 22-26th online and in-person in Los Angeles. This year’s theme is climate storytelling, with programming that highlights intersectional storytelling, narrative impact, and mental health. Programming sponsors include Rare.org, Paramount Global, NBCUniversal, Netflix, The Center for Cultural Power, and Earth Angel and sustaining sponsors include NRDC, Earthjustice, CAA Foundation, Scriptation, PGA Green, Green Production Guide, The Redford Center, Scriptation, Reel Green, Hopin, and EarthStudios Get your FREE TICKETS today!
I’M MAKING A MOVIE!
I’ve been taking a really useful class from Sundance Collab – an online resource for screenwriters, producers and directors. For a long time the Sundance Institute was limited and exclusive – but now they’ve made a lot of their educational tools available to the public and free. There are also paid classes that require an application – but they offer scholarships and are encouraging of emerging filmmakers.
In 2022 I’ve stepped into my power and quashed the imposter syndrome trying to get in my head. My brother Winston and I have talked a lot lately about tackling imposter syndrome (for those who know him: Right!? Winston? Imposter Syndrome!?). One of the tactics I’m using is to ‘put my sh*t out there.’ For me this means sharing my learning process publicly. I sometimes hit ‘publish’ on work that isn’t my strongest. I’m giving myself permission and room to evolve into a solid filmmaker – and sharing that growth process as I go. This frees me up a whole lot – and I hope inspires others to do the same.
This is why I’ve created a YouTube channel in my 50s – where my goal is to publish content weekly. It’s why I’m trying to stay up on social media platforms that add creative tools for storytelling almost daily (often JUST as I’ve finally learned a previous tool). I’m learning all about SEO and how it can help reach audiences and viewers and followers that gatekeepers used to have sole control over.
And now, here: I’m sharing my process of making the documentary feature film: Whyte Mama, Black Children – and all the messy, scary, funny and ugly lessons I’ll learn in making my first film as a director. I’m currently applying to the Sundance Documentary Fund (send good thoughts!) in hopes of getting funding to develop the project. I’ll also use the materials I’m gathering to apply to other organizations and companies that help emerging filmmakers. You can join the journey by following #TJLMakingaMovieMonday and #TJLFilmmakerFridays on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.
Here are some loglines I’m playing around with for the film. Writing a good logline is one of the most challenging aspects of creating pitch materials. This will certainly evolve as the story unfolds in production, but here are some I’m thinking about. Do these give you a sense of what the film will be?
Whyte Mama, Black Children is a feature documentary exploring the systemic roots and contemporary experiences of Black children whose racial identities contrast with that of their white parents. A Black daughter recounts her love for her white mother amidst the enduring backdrop of systemic, individual and internalized racism.A Black daughter raised by a white mother explores the systemic, cultural and internalized reasons for their conflicting racial identities.
Mentee Spotlight: Joshua Walker
My Colour Entertainment Mentee, Joshua Walker, wrote and co-stars in this beautiful film. A perfect story for the convergence of Memorial Day (May 30) and the start of Pride Month (June 1). Joshua wrote this to share with all of you:
I wrote this film in 2017, soon after Trump took office. Seeing how polarizing he was and still is, I knew it was only a matter of time before any progress we have made in the fight for LGBT rights, could be stripped away at the stroke of a pen. We are seeing it happen right now with the decision to overturn Roe V. Wade and the gross disregard for human rights and freedom.
The film follows an unlikely pair, Jarod, outgoing and confident, and Chris, reserved and closeted, meet, fall in love, and marry only to have regressive U.S. military policy threaten to unravel their world. “Undone” reminds us of the disturbingly intrusive potential our government can have if allowed to choose who we fight, and who we love.
Written by Joshua Walker (@Joshyoutrippin)
Directed by Tabitha Russell (@tabitharussell)
DP & Editor: Avery Archie (@Averyarchie)
Starring: Dwain Duran and Joshua Walker
Music by Jesse Powers:
In the deep: https://youtu.be/-94SnoS0sjU
Words come slow: https://youtu.be/SowN-b68muc